Tag Archives: Cure

What’s the ETA?

ETA… Estimated Time of Arrival. It’s almost an antiquated term in today’s english, often passed by in favor of terms like “When can I expect that?” and “What’s your hard deadline?”.

When it comes to diabetes, we’ve almost been conditioned at this point to stop asking when a cure will happen. Many don’t believe there will ever be a cure, and many more believe, but aren’t holding their breath for it.

In fact, hearing phrases like “We’re so close to a cure” or “It could happen in your lifetime” (to someone of my age), or the previously ubiquitous “Within five years” is one of the easiest ways to identify someone not in the know on such things.

Many organizations have, while championing a cure, backed off of anything that might even possibly be construed as a promise of a cure for diabetes couched within a specific time frame.

I’ll admit that this is good, because it keeps people from becoming overwhelmingly disappointed when a cure doesn’t happen within the window in which we might have expected it. Often, it allows us to say that a cure is not imminent, so let’s work on making diabetes easier to manage in the meantime. I am all for that.

But since I’m a both-sides-of-the-coin type of person, I will also admit that not expecting a “just around the corner” cure for diabetes, sometimes, feels like an excuse to hold off finding a cure for even longer. Sometimes, just to develop more products. Things that will keep us paying through the nose, that will make things easier for People With Diabetes, but will siphon off money for other things that family members of People With Diabetes could really use.

It’s the skeptic in me that asks: How many People With Diabetes can’t afford to send their kids to college due to the fact that their out-of-pocket medical expenses range in the thousands of dollars each year? How many can’t afford to keep up with repairs to their homes? I’ve been one of those people.

I don’t really sit on either side of this question. How could I? I mean, hell yes… I want a cure. I want it yesterday. But in the absence of a cure, I also think that an artificial pancreas system is a remarkable development, and should continue to be funded through to completion. And then improved upon after that.

That’s where I’m going with this post… how do I justify championing improvements in therapy, drugs, and devices, without losing sight of, even a little bit, of the need for a cure? I’m torn when I think about it. I get that little twinge in my gut that has always been a benchmark for me to look at a situation with a fresh set of eyes.

I also have a fresh sense of respect for those who are both working on ways to improve our lives with diabetes, and are still passionate about a cure for this awful disease. I think that’s a tougher tightrope to walk than I’ve been giving people credit for up to now.

My goal from this point forward? Right now, I think it’s to remember that a cure is still incredibly important, and it should be worked on and funded, and should not take a back seat to CGM In The Cloud or Inhalable Insulin or any of the latest developments. It’s important to keep asking: What’s the ETA on my cure? Yet both sides of the equation are important. In many ways, equally important right now.

When we talk about a cure, let’s remember the amazing steps in improving diabetes management that have happened, and are still happening. Likewise, when talking about improvements in diabetes management, let’s not lose sight of the ultimate goal:

The Cure.

Got Hope?

I’ve read a lot of posts and comments on blogs, Facebook, etc. in the last week or so (you know, since the Diabetes Dad/DRI/BioHub dustup) from people who don’t believe there will ever be a cure for diabetes. Trust me… I totally get where you are all coming from. At times, it seems like the cure is so far out on the horizon that there really is no horizon at all, if you know what I mean.

But I can’t go that far.

This is my affirmation.

I’m not looking for it to happen any time soon. I have no idea what form a cure would take. I don’t know if any of the research currently under way will yield any results at all.

But I know that if we never try… we’ll never know for sure. I know that if we never stand up and say, “Hey, nearly 26 million people in this country have diabetes, and over 360 million people globally, and we deserve our chance to find a cure”, we’ll never know for sure.

I dig the new technology. I’m excited about new devices that will make us safer and healthier over the long haul. I love the extra education I’m getting every day. The helpful tips from the Diabetes Online Community, the unique perspective of my endocrinologist, the amazing drug therapies that have hit the marketplace in the past twenty plus years, the improvement in meter technology and CGMs and diet and nutrition.

Still… none of it amounts to a cure.

And you know what? I’m so grateful for the fact that I’m living today with diabetes, in this era, because I have a lot more in my arsenal to fight this chronic condition than anyone who’s ever lived with it before.

Still… none of it amounts to a cure.

In the past year and a half, I’ve learned, shared experiences, met people, asked questions, made mistakes, had successes, and expanded my horizons beyond even my own comprehension and despite my own fears. I’m not sure I can convey in this medium exactly what that feels like, but it feels really good.

Still… none of it amounts to a cure.

I have a healthy skepticism of government, and medical technology firms, and big pharma, and yet I believe that the absolute power of a cure for diabetes would not, could not allow it to be kept a secret for long.

Ever hear the phrase “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best”?

I am prepared to live with my disease for the rest of my natural-born life. I’m not counting on a cure. I don’t see it in this or any other 5 to 10 year time frame I’ve ever lived in. I too look at new presentations of so-called “solutions” with a wary eye. Even disdain.

But I refuse to give up on the idea altogether. Hoping for the best means hoping for a cure. I will keep hoping for a cure, if for no other reason than to keep hope alive for the next generation.

Because the next generation deserves hope too.

Because this generation deserves hope too.

Because… while I’m bombarded on all sides by glucose issues and possible complications and the next fundraising pitch disguised as The Greatest Thing Ever, I refuse to let any of it take my hope away.

This is my affirmation.

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